Product: GreenLight Collectibles’ new 1:18 casting of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 race winner’s bright red Target Chip Ganassi racer is well timed on two counts.
First, this year’s centennial celebration of the first Indy 500 run in 1911 has refocused the racing spotlight on the granddaddy of all races.
Second, as Indy-car racing has regained its popularity the last few years a new star has emerged: Dario Franchitti. The Scotsman with an Italian name is well spoken, friendly and married to movie actress Ashley Judd. He’s a marketing bonanza.
In 2010, Franchitti won his second Indianapolis 500, dominating by leading 155 of the 200 laps. In 2007 he won a 500 that was shortened 34 laps by rain. He now is a three-time Indy Car champion, winning the past two national titles for the Target-Ganassi team.
So the Franchitti 2010 Indy winner is likely the most attractive driver/car combination possible.
The lightweight Indy cars, which all ride on Dallara chassis, are powered currently by 3.5-liter Honda V8s that create 650 horsepower for the sleek open wheel racers. At Indy they turn laps at 226+ mph and compete on both oval and road (sometimes street) courses around the U.S. This year the circuit also includes races in Brazil, Canada and Japan.
Next year, all new car chassis and several engine choices will be coming along, no doubt creating more Indy die-cast racer possibilities down the road.
Performance: Greenlight’s model is an attractive reproduction of the Indy winner, with all the appropriate sponsor logos, from the main Target logo on the nose and sidepods, right down to the Huggies and Breathe Right stickers on the engine cover. Prominent on the air scoop above the driver’s head is the IZOD Indy car series logo, the gas filler intake just below it on the car’s left side.
The paint job is excellent and the driver figure’s helmet accurately resembles Dario Franchitti’s helmet used on race day. There’s even a HANS device protecting his head and neck.
The mirrors and rear wing look accurate too, and the engine cover is removable to reveal the Honda V8, again with appropriate labeling. The top of the engine cover and air intake are a reflective metallic material, much like on the real car.
Where the car looks a little less realistic is in the cockpit and the black plastic suspension parts. Plus the tires have "Indy 500" and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway logo stamped on them. The real tires do not. You also can see seams in the plastic tires. Those logos are likely to satisfy Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as these cars will be sold as official track souvenirs.
The racer also was made to resemble the car after the race, with oil and rubber streaks up the nose and onto the sidepods; some will like that, others not.
While not to the standards of Carousel 1’s vintage Indy 500 cars, the Greenlight racer is a nice display car whose detail reflects its $60 mid-range pricing. It also comes in a spectacularly detailed box showing the car and Franchitti.
Marketing: This is a unique racer your racing fans will want. And with Indy growing in popularity again, this is a good market to start attracting to your store.
You’d do well to create an Indy car display with some checkered flags and other plastic models and die-casts of various Indy racers and pace cars. You could even expand that to an open-wheel racing display and include Formula One cars in the mix. Drop an old Indy tape or DVD into the shop TV and get people fired up about open wheel racing’s high-tech cars.
Remember too that every die-cast car needs an acrylic display case, a great add-on sale.
Product: No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Dario Franchitti, 2010 Indianapolis 500 Winner
Maker: GreenLight Collectibles
Stock No.: 10893
Availability: Contact Jeff Nelson at 317-287-0600 ext 106 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Good shelf presence
Popular Indy 500 winner